I wasn’t going to do a separate skincare favourites post for 2017 because I talked through my whole routine and everything I’m currently using in my recent Skincare Updates posts (Part 1, Part 2), but there are a few products I wanted to mention that have been real standouts for me this year, and I wanted to throw a few other things in here that didn’t fit in my Makeup Favourites: 2017 post as well. When it comes to skincare, I tend not to have too many similar products open at the same time, which means I use products consistently until I finish them, so I’d be lucky to get through 2-3 similar products in a year (excluding samples) and I often go back to my favourites because I’m very picky when it comes to ingredients and efficacy. So as with my makeup favourites I’m not going to go through every category and try and pick a favourite, I’m just going to talk about the products that I really loved this using this year.
The first product that gets a special mention is the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (AU). There are a lot of cleansing balms and oils on the market, and most of the ones I’ve tried perform at a fairly similar level, so I’m not going to tell you that this blows the rest of them out of the water, because it doesn’t. But it does perform just as well as others that I love, so it’s definitely in the top tier of cleansing balms for me. I first tried this back in 2015 and hadn’t used it again since, but I got my mum into cleansing balms around that time and this has been her favourite that she has continually repurchased since then.
When I was coming to the end of the product I was using previously I decided to revisit this because remembered enjoying it, but it seems I’d forgotten just how good it is. It’s a very smooth formula that feels luxurious despite the absence of fragrance (which is neither a plus or minus for me as it doesn’t bother my skin). It’s solid at room temperature so it never leaks out of the packaging, but it spreads easily around the face and doesn’t require any extra effort to soften it up. It melts away makeup completely and doesn’t leave a residue on my face (FYI I always use a washcloth when I cleanse). Basically, it’s just an absolute pleasure and I’m about halfway through it and can’t think of anything I’d rather be using.
The other cleanser that I’ve really loved this year has been the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. I first got to try this about a year ago when a friend brought it back for me from the States, and now that I’m in Canada and they ship here I’m probably just going to keep using this while I have access to it because it’s so lovely. As with the Clinique balm, there are comparable products out there that do the job just as well, but I love the texture of this, I love that it has a pump, I love that it’s reasonably priced, and I just want to keep on using it, so if that doesn’t make it a favourite then I don’t know what does.
I’d used samples of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes (AU) a couple of times in the past and always really enjoyed it, and I’m now working my way through a 15ml bottle that came in a double pack with Luna. I’d like to think I’m pretty objective with my skincare reviews and that I know what I’m talking about enough to honestly assess if something expensive is worth the high price tag. I don’t really take “favourites” lightly these days, and I don’t love products just because they’re expensive, if anything they have to work harder to prove to me that they’re worth the money, because there is so much competition these days and a lot of it is more affordable.
In saying that, I don’t think there’s such a thing as “dupes” in skincare because that to me refers to matching superficial things like colour or texture, rather than the long-term benefits of skincare. So although there are similar products out there, and certainly much more affordable lactic acid products, I have to say that I just really, really love this one. Every time I use it I wake up with smooth, plump, beautiful looking (and feeling) skin, and although I love lots of the glycolic acid products I’ve tried in the past and my skin has never had an issue with them, I’m becoming slightly more loyal to lactic acid just because it has the added bonus of noticeably hydrating and plumping my skin while also exfoliating it.
I think we all know what it’s like when you’re attracted to an expensive product, even if there are similar ones out there that are a fraction of the cost, it doesn’t make you want the expensive one any less. It’s a combination of the luxury factor and a certain je ne sais quoi that keeps you interested even if you know you’re being slightly unreasonable. Does Good Genes deliver objectively superior results to all other lactic acid products on the market? Probably not, but does it give me the most pleasure and is it my favourite that I’ve tried so far? Absolutely, and in my mind it’s the king of AHAs.
Regardless of your skin type Good Genes is a beautiful product, but especially if you have dry, mature or sensitive skin that doesn’t get along with glycolic, I think you’ll love this (although my skin is none of those things). If you have the budget to treat yourself Good Genes is one luxury skincare item that I think is worth the money, and the more I use it the more I’m convinced of that.
The last skincare item that I have to mention is The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. I’ve talked about this a couple of times already, but using this has dramatically changed my skin, so it’s definitely been a standout product for me this year. I hadn’t had a dedicated niacinamide product in my routine before this and I’d always suffered from small bumps/texture/congestion along my jawline that nothing else seemed to be able to deal with.
Now that’s a distant memory for me thanks to this, and if you’re wondering, I'm onto my second bottle. I can’t say for sure what it’s going to do for anyone else’s skin, but for me it did exactly what nothing else could, so I consider it indispensable.
My favourite fragrance of the year has to be Byredo’s Baudelaire (AU). It took me a while to find the Byredo fragrance for me, but the more I’ve worn Baudelaire, the more I’ve fallen in love with it. Not only is it probably the longest lasting fragrance in my collection, but I absolutely adore how this smells on me. Fragrance is such a personal thing, not only when it comes to the types of the scents we enjoy, but also in terms of how different perfumes/colognes compliment our natural scent.
The more I try different fragrances, the more I notice how different they can smell in the bottle vs. on your skin, and how important that is. I happen to love the way this blends with my natural scent, and my boyfriend does too because every time I wear it he notices. I have very unisex tastes when it comes to fragrance – anything you might consider fresh, floral or fruity probably isn’t going to do it for me. But if I read amber, patchouli or incense in the notes then I want to know what it smells like. Baudelaire contains all 3 of those, and to me it smells warm and softly smokey. If that sounds like your kind of thing and you have access to the brand I’d definitely suggesting trying it out, preferably on your skin.
Jurlique Rose Hand Cream
I haven’t mentioned the Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (AU) in a while and I feel like it’s time to give it another turn in the spotlight. This has been my favourite hand cream for years now, and I want to always have a tube by my bedside.
Not only is the rose scent beautiful – it’s more on the sweet side rather than sharp and artificial, but it’s a really rich, nourishing hand cream that’s just what I need during winter (although I use it all year round).
It’s not really a handbag staple for me because it’s quite a heavy formula and can take a few minutes to sink in, but it’s perfect for night time and it’s one of those products that’s a perfect balance of luxury and functionality - it both works and feels beautiful at the same time, and that’s what makes it my favourite.
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
I’m not a fan of almond scents, but luckily the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil (AU) isn’t too strongly fragranced. Although I’m not madly into luxury shower products as I think there are better areas to invest in when it comes to beauty, this is something I’m a sucker for. You can use this all over your body, but I tend to use it for shaving my legs because it gives you the slip you need without being overly foaming and drying like most shaving products are. Plus if you save it for shaving the bottle lasts a lot longer, and although I haven’t bought one myself yet, you can get refill pouches once you’ve initially purchased a bottle, which would take down the repurchase cost a bit. I’m really curious to hear if the Glossier Body Hero Shower Oil is similar to this product as there don’t seem to be many like it on the market, but either way it’s definitely been a favourite for me this year.